The average summer temperature is 21° C and rainfall is low. In the winter the temperature averages 12° C.
There is an international departure tax of NZ$25.
Reciprocal license are available from most countries but some rental companies may ask for an international driving licence. For rentals drivers will need to be over 21. Vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road.
For police, fire and ambulance call 111. The central police station is at the corner of Hereford and Cambridge Terrace. (64 3 379 3999). The Christchurch hospital is at Riccarton Avenue. (64 3 364 0640 and the emergency department 364 0270)
English and Maori are the official languages and English the major language.
New Zealand uses a dollar broken into cents. Banks are open Monday to Friday 9am - 4.30pm and ATMs are widely available. All major credit cards are widely accepted.
The national paper is the New Zealand Herald and The Press is the Christchurch paper.
On street parking in Christchurch is metered. Free car parking is available during the day is available at Hagley Park using the Armagh Street entrance.
Most shops open from 9am until 5pm with lat night shopping on Friday.
Pay phones in Christchurch are normally set up for phone cards which are easily purchased. Local calls from a phone box are 50 cents. Toll free numbers are marked with 0800. The country code for New Zealand is 64. For national directory call 018 and for international directory call 0172. For the national operator call 010 and for the international operator call 0170.
Christchurch is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time which means if it is 12 noon in UK then it is midnight in Christchurch. This will alter by one hour with daylight saving.
Tipping is not expected for normal service and a discretionary tip can be given to reward special service.
Visitors from some countries do not need visas if staying for three months or less but must be in possession of a return air ticket or have funds to buy one. Your passport must be valid for a period for three months beyond the date you depart from New Zealand. You must also have at least $1000 available to support you for each month that you stay in New Zealand.
The water is safe to drink direct from the taps.